November 16, 2014

Honey Balsamic Brussel Sprouts


Last Sunday I was invited to attend a service at my mom's church (my childhood church). They were doing a study on marriage and there was to be a potluck luncheon afterwards. I joyfully accepted, as G and I have yet to find a church to attend ourselves. I knew that I wanted to make something healthy from the get-go, but I also wanted something that would be easy to prepare since I knew I didn't have much time on my hands. I searched Pinterest high and low, but most of the healthy side dishes that popped up were more elaborate and time consuming than I had hoped. Until, of course, I ran across a recipe for balsamic brussel spouts. After a few tiny adjustments, I had my dish and they were definitely a hit. There were only a few left when it was time to clean up, which was a good sign!

INGREDIENTS:
3 tbsp of olive oil
1½ lbs brussel sprouts (halved)
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ garlic powder
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tsp of honey

Preheat your oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, toss the brussel sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, making sure to coat them all thoroughly. Transfer the brussels to your baking sheet and roast them in the oven until they're tender. This takes about 20 minutes. After that, place the brussel sprouts back into the bowl you used to toss them in before. Add in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Continue to toss them until they're evenly coated. At this point, they are ready to be served. You can add more salt and pepper, as you find necessary.


November 14, 2014

Chatting Over Coffee


Hey, y'all. How is it the middle of November already? Time is just drifting on by, isn't it? Well, today would have been the perfect day for a little chat over coffee on our back porch. The weather's been perfect down here in Florida. The heat has been replaced with crisp breezes and I hear it'll even drop down in the 40's tonight. I know what you northerners are thinkin', haha. That's pretty cold for us though.

If we were chatting over coffee, I would start by asking YOU how you were doing. We'd catch up on all of your current events — the things that you're looking forward to, how your job is going, etc. And then I would begin to open up about my life.

If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you that this week was great, but it has had its share of trials. I truly believe that God is currently teaching me how to deal with difficult circumstances in a different way. Every time an annoyance or disappointment pops up, I'm constantly reminded to 'count it all joy'. It's been hard at times, I'm not going to lie. But the peace that comes from trusting God in these times makes it all worth it. Complaining and worrying doesn't help any situation. In fact, it really makes things worse!

If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you that G and I went to see Interstellar on Tuesday night and it was amazing. If you haven't seen it, you should add it to your must-see list. You won't be disappointed, especially if you love science and/or space. I didn't think it would be as good as it was, but the whole story makes you think (which I like).

If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you that I am scheduled to work the opening shift of Black Friday at Target. Which really means I'll be working on Thanksgiving since someone had the bright idea to open the doors at 6:00PM. But, then again, I'm thankful for the opportunity to work. It could be worse. I could be out of work. So, yeah. I'll choose to look on the bright side!

If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you that I made it back to the gym last night. I didn't stay as long as I wanted to because I was exhausted, but I made it nonetheless. I worked on arms + cardio. It felt good to be back and I'm hoping to go at least 2x next week.

If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you that I twisted my ankle earlier this afternoon and it hurt so badly that it brought me to tears. Now, it's swollen up to the size of a golf ball because I didn't rest it as much as I should have. I can still walk, so it's hard to keep still when I have so much to do. Just another 'look on the bright side' scenario — it could have been far worse. I'll live.

If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you that my father-in-law has finally found a good job after being out of work for the past (nearly) 6 years. Yes, it's been that long. He's had so many setbacks over the past few years. G and I have been supporting him the best we can, but I'm so glad that God opened up this door for him! He'll be working as a security officer and making a nice amount of money.

If we were chatting over coffee, I would tell you all about the new online community that I have recently joined. It's made up of some of the sweetest, most caring and supportive women I've had the pleasure of encountering (and slowly getting to know). It's called #fireworkpeople and I would encourage you to check out their website for yourself.

I hope you guys had a great week!

November 13, 2014

ABC's of Thankfulness


Thanksgiving is a mere 2 weeks away, so what better time to share a list of the things that I'm grateful for than now? Don't get me wrong, I do believe in reflecting on my blessings year round. However, this topic seemed suiting for the upcoming holiday. I actually saw this idea floating around last year and this post has been tucked away in my drafts ever since then. We all have so much to be thankful for. Writing (or typing in this case) up a list of those things can be such a mood-shifting exercise, especially if you're going through a rough time or just having a bad day. Taking the time to give God thanks for the things we do have can really do a number on your attitude!

A
Art and of all the beauty that it radiates.

B
Books, but particularly the Bible.

C
Cats. What can I say? I'll always be thankful for my kitties.

D 
Diversity. The world would be such a boring place without it.

E
Espresso. It's been a lifesaver on so many occasions.

F
Family and friends who spread love + encouragement like wildfire.

G
Garrett, of course. I couldn't imagine life without him ♥

H
Health. There are so many people who are in far worse condition than I.

I
Instrumental music. It helps me relax, especially when I'm stressed.

J
Jesus Christ. Hands down, no questions asked.

K 
Kindness and those who possess it.

L
Laughter and the joy that it breathes into each moment.

M 
Mentors who've spoken life into me throughout the years.

N
Nature.

O
Oceans and all of the creatures that live within them.

P
Parents and all that they've taught me about life.

Q
Quotes and being able to refer back to the wisdom that they hold.

R
Rainy afternoons spent curled up on the couch with a good book.

S
Space and all of it's marvelous wonders.

T
Target – having the opportunity to work and shop there.

U
United States military and the sacrifices they have made to keep us safe.

V
Vision. There are many people who don't get to witness the beauty around them.

W
Water. Something I often take for granted (and don't drink enough of). And wine. 

X
X-chromosomes that made me, me.

Y 
Yesterdays and all of the memories that they carry.

Z
Zeal and being able to harness + display it.


Please feel free to make your own lists too! The more the merrier :)

November 12, 2014

Wish-Listing | Anthropologie

Last month was filled with new experiences, including my very first Anthro-encounter. This is going to sound terrible, but I never even knew there was an Anthropologie store in the Tampa area. It wasn't until Lauren and I decided to head down to Hyde Park Village one sunny afternoon and that's when we discovered it. Walking in, my wallet cringed. My eyes, on the other hand, lit up with glee. How did I go such a long time without taking a trip to this majestic wonderland? From the candles, to the dishes and everything else in between — decadence danced around each corner. Ok, I'm guessing you can probably sense my slight exaggeration by now. But, with all of that aside, it is a pretty sweet store and I'm sure I'll be back in the near future. I just wish their merchandise wasn't so pricey.










I was sure to make a wish-list whenever I got home that day and it's been growing ever since, as you can imagine.
Here are a handful of things from that list: